|Just In Time For Christmas CD|
From ChristmasReviews.com Reviewed August 2000.....Andrew Driscoll has a beautiful voice, and this Broadway inspired offering is a fitting showcase for it. Sweetly accompanied by Adam Walsh on piano, Driscoll lays out a wonderful assortment of holiday gems.
Although he chooses to lead with the quirky What Can You Get a Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb), I was much more impressed with his more traditional take on the season. His rendition of It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year was Driscoll in his element. Lyrical and musical, it is a real toetapper.
I was also impressed with the title number, performed as a duet with Debbie Arnott. It is characterized by a modern stage-inspirational quality that I've always loved. And Mel Torme's The Christmas Song is another highlight, perhaps the most upbeat arrangement of the old Chestnut I can remember.
This is a fun record, for traditionalists and the avant garde alike. If Driscoll isn't burning up the Broadway stage, I don't know why.
From the Peoria Times-Observer. Reviewed by Rick Wade December 1999.....Yeah, yeah, the Wookiee song is cute, clever. Likely a crowdpleaser.
Only argument I have with What Do You Get A Wookiee For Christmas is its placement as lead off tune on Andrew Driscoll's new holiday music CD, Just In Time For Christmas.
It's a fun song, but I think putting it later in the lineup, maybe fourth or fifth, gives it a little more surprise on the 300 to 400th time your kids will play it before New Year's Day.
And play it they will if you are smart enough to puck up several copies of this wonderful addition to your family's Christmas music library.
This one-moment-delicate and the next rowdy collection of holiday songs recorded by the former Peorian is going to be around for a long time.
Don't believe it? Check out the second offering, the title track,Just In Time For Christmas, that features a dynamic duet between Driscoll and Debbie Arnott. I am not sure who this young woman is, but she sure belts out a tune a la Whitney Houston. Just beautiful.
With his pal, piano player Adam Walsh, and a bevy of talented musicians, vocalist Driscoll puts emotional depth into the songs arranged, recorded, and produced with gorgeous clarity, creativity, and humor.
Case in point: Driscoll's interpretation of the classic The Christmas Song.
When arranging this tune, Driscoll cleverly blended a background chorus of that old beginner's standard, Heart and Soul, into Mel Torme's big hit probably better known by it's first line "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."
It's hip, jazzy, upbeat and, once again, there's that word, fun.
Yet right after that, Driscoll follows up with a solemn and reverent rendition of O Holy Night. It's a smooth transition from one tempo to the next (yes, I know it was recorded in a studio) that won't seem out of character for the singer.
The trumpet and piano work of Walsh on this cut is powerful, complementing not overpowering Driscoll.
That isn't David Bowie singing White Christmas with Bing. It's more like Bing singing Bing.
Driscoll (either consciously or unconsciously) even does a little Johnny Mathis on his bouncy It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.
If you want to test the young vocalist's range, punch up track nine, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
This song made famous by Judy Garland starts drowsy and soothing, but before it's over builds to a powerful crescendo with the help of some mean sax work by musician Carlos Juarez.
(By the way, this group of musicians and vocalists rounded up by Driscoll for Just In Time For Christmas is strictly first class professionals.
From the Metamora Herald. Reviewed by Sue Whitehouse December 1999. Truth and beauty have long been standards by which art has been measured. Put the yardstick next to Andrew Driscoll's latest vocal artistic efforts and these measurements of art register in the extraordinary range. In his new CD, Just In Time For Christmas, Driscoll's beautiful tenor voice delivers the notes of a song with a truth and conviction that only an artist with the heart, the emotions of his music could.
From the whimsical to the traditional to new tunes, the selections on Just In Time For Christmas showcase Driscoll's smooth, easy delivery, his versatility and exceptional vocal talent. Whether it's a ballad or a livelier number, Driscoll's voice is expressive, entertaining, and totally in command.
The first song on the CD, "What Can You Get A Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb?) is fun for Driscoll and for his listeners. The whimsy of the season is captured in an offbeat song, complete with an Elvis impression. It's not a traditional favorite here yet; but, who knows, in a far-off galaxy....
"The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)" gets a slight touch of jazz and an even larger touch of Driscoll's versatility, proof that even he enjoys his music as much as will his listeners.
Driscoll takes good care of traditional favorites ("O Holy Night", The Little Drummer Boy", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", "The Night Before Christmas Song"). He simply lets his pure tenor wrap lovingly around the familiar notes and the result is mesmerizing.
"It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" is lively and short and to the point - Christmas is magic and to be enjoyed.
Two selections are perfect marriages of a beautiful voice united with a beautiful song. And Driscoll is faithful to that union with his treatment of "Just In Time For Christmas" and "We Can Be Kind". While "We Can Be Kind" never mentions Christmas, it embodies the emotions that define the season...caring, sharing, understanding, compassion, love. With "Just In Time For Christmas", (a duet with Debbie Arnott), Driscoll dispels the commercial and hectic shortcomings of the holiday and makes Christmas romantic, warm and personal.
In the true tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas, where, day after day, gift followed gift, "Just In Time For Christmas" offers the patient listener two more gifts and a stocking stuffer to open beyond the selections listed on the CD. To leave those as "surprise presents" no further comment need be made except that they're worth waiting for; patience will be pleasantly rewarded.
Just In Time For Christmas is a great addition to anyone's holiday music collection; however, buyer beware - this isn't holiday party background music. It's simply impossible not to focus on Driscoll's phenomenal voice. So anyone wishing to treat themselves, those on their Christmas list or who doesn't know what to get a Wookiee for Christmas, check out this delightful holiday offering.
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